Meanwhile, on the other side of the ledger
Liberal blogger Cory Liebmann explains why he believes Wisconsin Democrats should support Mike Tate for another term as Chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
I was as outraged as anyone after the November election but I’ve tried to channel that outrage into something productive rather than simply finding someone to blame. Frankly it was a national wave election and many of the normal rules simply don’t apply. I don’t think it is particularly useful or fair to judge ultimate performance based only on electoral wins and losses in such an unusual cycle. I personally believe that these circumstances especially require a more substantive look at the track record.
But if I may be so bold as to offer the Democrats some advice, they should not pretend that everything that happened this election cycle was just the result of some mystical “wave” as Cory does. After all, the “wave” did not hit everywhere, and Wisconsin certainly bore the worst of the “wave.”
Part of the reason for the success of the Republican Party in Wisconsin was the willingness of Chairman Reince Priebus and others within the party to recognize just how damaged the party’s “brand” had become. The Tea Party movement was not only a reaction to the overreach by the Democrats, but a failure of Republicans to behave like Republicans. The Tea Partiers wanted “a choice, not an echo,” and if they were not going to find it within the Republican Party, they would create it themselves. Fortunately for Republicans in Wisconsin, what could have been a serious civil war on the center-right instead became a coalition effort to defeat the Democrats. It remains to be seen if Republicans will hold up their end of the bargain, or if it will be necessary for the Tea Party movement to revolt.
(It will also be interesting to see if Priebus can duplicate Wisconsin’s success on the national level if he is chosen by the RNC to be the next chairman.)
Democrats will need to take a serious look at themselves to see if what kind of party they will need to be if they are to appeal to a majority of Wisconsinites again. If they can make that self-examination with Tate as their Chairman – and we have seen no evidence of it – then perhaps Tate is the best choice.
Liebmann gives other reasons for supporting Tate, including the party’s finances, and those reasons are certainly worth considering. However, will it be really worth it to the party to be led by someone like Tate with the unimpressive electoral record and a reputation for being dishonest? Or is there a better choice out there?